Susan M. Dymecki, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Dymecki received her B.S.E. and M.S.E. from the University of Pennsylvania, and her M.D. and Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. After doctoral study, Dr. Dymecki began independent work as a Helen Hay Whitney Fellow and John Merck Scholar at the Carnegie Institution of Washington where she developed genetic approaches to study the deployment and function of cell populations across development, in particular in the mammalian nervous system. Dr. Dymecki joined Harvard Medical School in 1998 and is presently a professor in the Department of Genetics. Her lab continues to pioneer transgenic tools to subtype neurons and elucidate their origin, function, and connectivity map, focused on the serotonergic neuronal system in the brain. Dr. Dymecki’s lab has identified specialized subtypes of such neurons together with their network architecture and controlling roles in specific behaviors and physiology. Findings provide new ways to conceptualize bipolar disorder, depression, sleep apnea, and the sudden infant death syndrome, as examples. Her honors include the HMS Morgan-Zinsser Teaching Faculty Fellowship Award, the Gulf Oil Outstanding Achievement in Biomedical Science Award, the Faculty Leadership Award for outstanding service leading the Ph.D. Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at HMS, the A. Clifford Barger Award for Excellence in Mentoring, and other mentoring awards from the HMS community. Dr. Dymecki was selected as a Rita Allen Scholar in 1999. She is an advisor to the Rita Allen Foundation and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.